Minimizing cleaning times using an air-diaphragm pump and controller – When Greg and Jaimie Blanchard took ownership of Pro Chem Cleaning Systems, they immediately began modernizing the plant to improve productivity, efficiency and safety. These upgrades included replacing an outdated manual pumping system with an ARO EXP Series air-operated diaphragm pump and closed-loop controller. Among the outcomes, the plant reduced its tank filling time from hours to minutes, it received fully automated pumping solutions and also lowered certain safety risks. Now the company is getting ready to expand production and triple its capacity.
For nearly three decades, Pro Chem has been producing commercial detergents, degreasers and custom cleaning products for car washes and pressure washers that are used to remove graffiti and scrub bridges, buildings and sports stadiums. However, outdated processing equipment limited the plant’s performance and profitability.
When the new owners took over in 2014 and decided to install new processing equipment and technology, they turned to Ingersoll Rand and its ARO brand for a pumping solution that could meet the high demands of a plant that produces dozens of hazardous and non-hazardous soaps, detergents and degreasers.
For a company such as Pro Chem that produces cleaning chemicals, success depends on safe and efficient fluid management. The company produces nearly 30 product lines – with names such as Pro Chem Pink and Grease Away – and each line involves different formulations with varying properties, viscosities and hazard risks. Production involves blending, batching and packaging the products quickly enough to meet customer demand, while maintaining product quality and avoiding the risk of leakage, spillage or worker injury. The facility must also meet strict
regulatory compliance and always be prepared forunannounced audits from OSHA or other agencies.
A Change was Needed...
Pro Chem produces up to 15,000 gallons of products per week at its 23,000-sq-foot facility in Arlington, Texas. Manufacturing the cleaners involves formulating and combining hundreds of ingredients, such as solvents, surfactants, thickeners, additives and fragrances. Raw materials are combined in underground blending tanks, which hold 3,000 gallons, pumped into bulk tanks, which can hold up to 18,000 gallons, and then from 55 gallons to 320 gallons. From there, the product is pumped into large commercial dispensers or into individual packages, such as gallon jugs.
Prior to these improvements, the plant was relying on a subpar manual pumping system, which made the process of filling tanks time consuming, inefficient and one that required constant operator attention.
Benefits for the Pump Operators
Pro Chem replaced the manual pumping system with a new 1-1/2-inch ARO EXP Series metallic air-operated diaphragm pump and closed-loop controller. The company now has a fully automated system for batching and tank filling.
The controller’s remote operating capabilities provide a user friendly touch-and-go system that allows operators to perform other tasks while the tanks are filling. The owner says this has significantly increased processing productivity.
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